News24

Syria freedom convoy blocked at border

2012-03-15 22:41

Kilis - Hundreds of activists in a "Freedom Convoy" who tried to enter Syria from Turkey were stopped near the border on Thursday, as the uprising against the Damascus regime entered its second year.

Turkish police stopped hundreds of mostly Syrian activists as they approached a border crossing outside the city of Kilis, but they escorted a small delegation of organisers in two cars to the post.

But at the crossing, the organisers were prohibited from entering Syria, one of them told AFP.

"The only answer we got was 'No way, never!'," said Moayad Skaif.

The activists - in a convoy of three buses and 30 cars decorated with flags and loudspeakers - said they were trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians suffering after a year of bloodshed.

"Our goal is to put pressure in our way on the Syrian government to stop its massacres and its embargo on its own people," Skaif said.

He said the aid, including tents, sleeping bags, toiletries, food and beverages, would now be offered to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

A previous attempt by the Freedom Convoy to enter Syria from Turkey, which is home to a growing number of Syrians fleeing the unrest, was also blocked in January.

More than 9 000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the outbreak of the revolt against President Bashar Assad's regime one year ago, human rights monitors said on Thursday.

Following the Syrian army assault in the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs and in the rebel stronghold Idlib, the number of Syrians arriving at the border has escalated sharply.

Close to 15 000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey's Hatay province, where Syrian army deserters resisting the regime's crackdown also have a base, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Comments
  • kafantaris2 - 2012-03-16 06:22

    Sarkozy is right, Assad is a murderer. What else would you call him after he killed hundreds of people with snipers on rooftops? Indeed, Assad and his henchmen have so much blood on their hands that they are no longer concerned with saving Syria, but with saving their own hide. As a world community governed by universal principals of fairness and empathy for our fellow men we cannot avert our eyes from the crimes against humanity these monsters are committing. Assad has gone beyond the point of any return to civilized governance. He knows it, and we know it. It is time, therefore, that we deal with him as the criminal he has become. We had acted with resolve against a similar criminal in Libya and we should act with resolve against this one in Syria now. Russia and China would be prudent to again stay out of the way. Enough is enough. Once more, the world has to do what simply needs to be done.

  • Anthony - 2012-03-16 07:42

    A bit late in the day, but Russia is starting to see their grave error in protecting this assad terrorist. Their veto has cost them dearly, not just in the ME, but throuhout the world. Russia, rightly, stands accused to support, and actively being involved, in state terrorism. That is not the immage Puttin wants Russia to be portrayed as. assad's days are numbered. Than there will just be a few left, like this Patrick and Michael, with their silly childish anti American stance , who will support this TERRORIST

      Michael - 2012-03-16 09:15

      Anthony, one year and five days , one year and five days , one year and five days and your idiotic bleating and use of capitalization to try to make your points a bit loader, has got you nowhere. And just as we were told on this site three months ago that the Syrian army was falling apart , so to is your Russia theory. Bloody useless strategy on your side, pathetic.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-16 09:52

      Relax Michael, Nobody is forcing you to read my comments, and if they upset you, to that extend, don't do so!!! Have read nowhere, that the Syrian army is falling apart, what has happened , is that THOUSANDS of soldiers, were no longer prepared to KILL their own people, as they were not trained to do so !! These are true heroes, as they don't only put their own lives in danger, but also those of their families

  • Michael - 2012-03-16 09:53

    What Russia has indeed done is to place itself firmly behind the mission of Kofi Annan which aims to firstly negotiate a cease fire from both sides , and then facilitate a long term solution through dialogue. This is not a change in Russia's stance. The UN/Arab League sponsored Annan peace mission is not in any way supported by anthony and his mob on this site. The mob rather wants an all out war with the regime, but they realise that to win such a war they need and demand the involvement of USA/NATO. This will result in a huge and catastrophic loss of life and infrastructure in Syria, and possibly a conflagration in the whole Middle East. It must have been painful for the mob to see Annan and Assad together in discussions earlier this week. A difficulty for Annan is the fact that he must try to deal with a host of different divisions in the rebellion. In their wish to see the Annan mission fail the anthony mob refuse to see any benefit in the unification of the stance of the rebellion. Its called a "shoot one's self in the foot" strategy.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 10:16

      You're still out of touch Michael. And as far as I have seen, few are calling for war. Everyone with a clear mind is calling for the international community to stand together as one, look Assad in the eye, and say no more, step down, or else. With the undivided gaze of the world in his eyes, it would be very difficult for Assad to continue. It would embolden those in his inner circle to change sides, or do whatever necessary to end the killing. If he did, then some form of intervention, possibly military, would be necessary, to stop him. Unfortunately the world cannot get off base on this most logical starting point because the Russian and Chinese regimes are dividing the world, for their own self-centered reasons. Which you somehow interpret as positive. And they, and you, have given Assad a license to kill. Assad has written the new constitution already. It says he will remain in power for another fourteen years. It is more than obvious he has no intention of ceasing fire. Imagine if the Apartheid regime had done this. He killed, maimed, detained, raped and tortured for almost eleven months before the demonstrators started to take up arms, in self-defense. Yet you, and the Russian regime, lump the demonstrators actions together with Assad, equating the two and demanding that both disarm. There is only one aggressor. His actions and intentions are clear. He will only be stopped when the Russian and Chinese regimes join the international community.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 17:17

      ? You believe the Russian regime is doing the right thing by allowing Assad to continue with his killing, maiming, detaining, torturing and raping. Try changing this belief. Then you'll be on the right side of events, and won't have to look for pseudo-victim conspiracy ideas to shore-up your wrong ideas. And then Syrians will another supporter who wants them to have nothing more than the RIGHT TO VOTE which they haven't had for the 48 years of Assad's cruel dictatorial rule. I understand the truer way forward is not clear for a Russian supporter of the mafia-like, neo-Soviet boss Putin.

      Anthony - 2012-03-16 18:43

      Alexander, You NEVER started a reasonable dispute, what are you talking about???? Your problem is that you are a perpetual LIAR, who lives in some fantasy world !!!!!!

  • Matt - 2012-03-16 10:24

    To stop what \massacre\? Ask any Syrians on the ground and they are pissed with security forces for not providing adequate security. The picture painted by Al Jazeera is very different from what's happening on the ground. You are being fed an extremely bias picture as you were fed with Libya. Did you know Libya was going to win an award for its \human development index\ in 2010? Would any tyrant make a top priority to educate and house his people? While political reforms were needed what happened there was a tragic disaster, mainly thanks to the lies that surrounded it. Please understand that there is a major media war going on and it is crucial you look at both sides of the story.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 10:35

      Ridiculous, almost to the point of being insane. There were Apartheid sympathizers who also wanted the Apartheid security forces to enforce greater "security".

      Matt - 2012-03-16 10:59

      Well the difference is Assad holds majority of support. Fighting is isolated to a couple of cities while the rest of Syria's biggest worry is the crippling sanctions imposed on the country.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 11:02

      You calculate that by which general election held in Syria when?

      nowicki1 - 2012-03-16 16:04

      Freddy, your ignorance knows no bounds: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

  • Matt - 2012-03-16 10:33

    Understand how major a role the mainstream media plays in shaping history and foreign policy. It is crucial to control the media in order to go to war. \The first casualty of war is truth\.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 10:36

      You have an OCD about the media Matt. All the while Assad is taking the gap and ordinary Syrians are being butchered in their homes. Wake up. You're still asleep.

      Matt - 2012-03-16 11:02

      Yes, for the reasons mentioned, \while Syrians are being butchered in their homes\? Haha even you are starting to use the emotive propaganda lingo.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 11:06

      At least everyone reading can see how awfully out of touch you are with what is happening in Syria.

      Michael - 2012-03-16 11:29

      Matt anyone disagreeing with this pair is "out of touch" "heartless" or a "supporter of Assad" . They are not about finding solutions-they are just warmongering trolls. They are pissed that their side after one year, is in retreat and they cannot see why that is- totally idiotic strategy of confronting someone better armed than you are and failure to comprehend the reality- e.g. 2 million out in the squares in support of Assad yesterday. The points that I and you have made are supported by some far more learned than these two trolls; readers should take a look at: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/15/world/meast/syria-what-next/index.html This article argues clearly about the need for opposition unity and points out that the crisis has reached stalemate. It is actually Freddie and Anthony that are out of touch with the reality in Syria.Why are we still debating this one year later boys? And Freddie claims not to be calling for war where he has done so many times in the past, but he now realizes that this costs him the moral high ground.

      Michael - 2012-03-16 11:31

      Come on Freddie now, come out in support of Kofi Annan's peace mission!!!

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-16 12:26

      Michael, WHY use so many words, to say you admire TYRANTS--MURDERERS--WAR CRIMINALS It is not unlawful, certainly not in SA, so be at ease, and than you don't have to bore us with hundreds of words of CRAP

      Michael - 2012-03-16 15:47

      Once again proved my point you are so very simple Anthony , poor thing.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 15:55

      You're still out of touch Michael. And as far as I have seen, few are calling for war. Everyone with a clear mind is calling for the international community to stand together as one, look Assad in the eye, and say no more, step down, or else. With the undivided gaze of the world in his eyes, it would be very difficult for Assad to continue. It would embolden those in his inner circle to change sides, or do whatever necessary to end the killing. If he did, then some form of intervention, possibly military, would be necessary, to stop him. Unfortunately the world cannot get off base on this most logical starting point because the Russian and Chinese regimes are dividing the world, for their own self-centered reasons. Which you somehow interpret as positive. And they, and you, have given Assad a license to kill. Assad has written the new constitution already. It says he will remain in power for another fourteen years. It is more than obvious he has no intention of ceasing fire. Imagine if the Apartheid regime had done this. He killed, maimed, detained, raped and tortured for almost eleven months before the demonstrators started to take up arms, in self-defense. Yet you, and the Russian regime, lump them together with Assad, equating the two and demanding that both disarm. There is only one aggressor. His actions and intentions are clear. He will only be stopped when the Russian and Chinese regimes join the international community.

      Fred - 2012-03-16 17:26

      The above is what Kofi Anan is trying to achieve Michael (bring Russia and China into the international community's demand that Assad step down). You're just a few steps behind, like Russia and China.

      Anthony - 2012-03-16 17:38

      Michael, ""e.g. 2 million out in the squares in support of Assad yesterday."" This must be the SAME 2 million , that terrorist gaddafi said were at Green Square, to show their "LOVE" for him. But not even two months after this 'event' when this fruitcake was on display on some butcher floor, there were suddenly only a few thousand gaddafi supporters left in Lybya. The same will happen in Syria, as soon as this MASS MURDERER is gone, MOST Syrian people will be dancing in the streets and suddenly there is no more support for this family of thugs.!!!! Maybe this assad hires these "supporters" from the same employment agency, gaddafi got his from !!!!

      Fred - 2012-03-16 21:32

      On behalf of Anthony (if you don't mind Anthony), thank you Patrick. Coming from you, this means he's on the right track.

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